11Oct

The nights are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air. But don’t be tempted to stay snug in front of the fire or TV– now is the time to get up and about and prep your home for winter.

All too often it’s when things go wrong that we are spurred into action. Taking a few steps now, however, can help prevent problems such as burst pipes and faulty boilers, saving you the hassle of putting them right when the weather has taken a turn for the worse.

Turning up the heat

When the temperature goes down our thermostats go up and it’s really important to look after the equipment that keeps our homes warm.

Getting your boiler regularly serviced is a must and if you haven’t had yours looked at yet now is the time to book before engineers get too busy. People often discover there’s a problem when they go to turn the radiators on for the first time, and by then they could have to wait days for a repair without heating or hot water.

Whichever firm or individual you use make sure they are Gas Safe registered or OFTEC registered if you have an oil-powered boiler.

Pipework should also be given a once over as plummeting temperatures can take their toll. Water freezing inside pipes expands and can crack the metal – leading to leaks – and in extreme cases below zero temperatures can cause pipes to burst.

Invest in insulation, such as waterproof foam, for outside taps and pipes. Ensure there are no gaps when wrapping pipes and take care when covering bends and fittings. Attention should also be paid to areas that aren’t heated, such as lofts and garages. If you have pipes or a water tank in these areas be sure to insulate them.

Also take the time to fix any dripping taps, as even the smallest trickle can result in frozen pipes, and find out where your stop tap is – it will be your first port of call should you suffer a major leak.

Take a leaf out of the DIY book

The autumn landscape of red, gold and yellow leaves is wonderful on a crisp walk but not so good when it comes to gutters and drains. They can be easily filled by falling leaves and other debris which, if not cleared, can lead to leaks in roofs and walls.

Cleaning them out is an easy DIY job – arm yourself with a step ladder, gloves and bin bag and scoop out any debris. You can also hose them down afterwards to make sure they are draining properly.

An open fire or wood burner is a lovely addition to any home. But it’s another area that needs clearing before the winter weather sets in. Material left in the flue can ignite and lead to a chimney fire so getting a professional to sweep it is important before you bulk buy any kindling.

Ensure you’re insured

Prevention is always better than cure but Mother Nature can be cruel so insurance is the best way to guard against any problems or damage you can’t predict.

Now is the time to check your policy to ensure it guards against incidents such as flooding, storm damage, fire and theft. Remind yourself of any excess fees, take a note of your policy number and have details of how to make a claim handy in case the worst happens.

Roger Coupe are the local property experts in Cranleigh and its surrounds and can recommend experts and professionals to help you get your home winter ready. Contact us here.